[Note from Imam Salim – My visit to the Dargah of Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore in 2005 was one of the most profound moments in my life! The actual day of his departure is 20 Safar which in the US is Monday, but the Urs is celebrated for at least 3 days.]
by Asim Hussain
Sunday, December 22, 2013
From The News – Print Edition
LAHORE: The 3-day celebrations of 970th annual Urs of Hazrat Ali bin Usman Hajveri known as Data Ganj Bakhsh will begin on Sunday (today), led by Provincial Minister for Auqaf and Religious Affairs Ata Muhammad Manika.
The minister will inaugurate the 3-day festivities by laying floral wreath and inaugurating the milk Sabeel at the shrine of the 10th century saint who was among the pioneers of preaching and spreading Islam in the sub continent, particularly in Punjab.
As per traditions, the milk sellers community will bring thousands of litres of milk as a donation for the milk Sabeel which will be distributed among the devotees and visitors. Millions of devotees and visitors from all parts of the country came to witness the Urs and offer special prayers. Besides, a large number of philanthropists provided them food as part of worship. The district administration had taken all necessary measures to maintain peace and security during the Urs.
Briefing newsmen at Smaa Hall Data Gunj Bakhsh Complex on Saturday, Minister for Religious Affairs Ata Muhammad Manika said sufficient arrangements had been made with the collaboration of district administration for boarding and lodging of devotees.
The minister said that eight million rupees had been allocated for Urs ceremonies and other arrangements besides making foolproof security arrangements. In this regard, 100 close circuit cameras had been installed. He said as many as 1700 police officials had been deputed besides 12 walkthrough gates and metal detectors had been provided for security of devotees.
The original article is here.